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what happens live." >> come on. >> i think i lost the game but i like to believe i won a small victory for dignity that day. i suppose i should just be thankful he didn't get me to demonstrate the korean horse riding machine on live television. [ speaking foreign language ] >> the olympics are going on and people want to get in shape. we're just doing a public service here letting you know you don't have to join a gym or buy a horse as the case may be. you just have to get your hands on the finest piece of exercise equipment to be thrust on the fitness scene and on "the ridiculist." edition of "360." thanks for watching. "early start" begins right now.
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going nowhere. holiday travel on hold as a wet and nasty winter storm slams the northeast and strands thousands of airline passengers. and tornado terror, this christmas twister's fury captured on camera as it tosses a pickup truck like a toy. and just five days until the fiscal cliff. president obama catching a flight back to washington where there's doubt that a deal can get done in time. good morning, everybody, for a thursday morning. very early, 5:00 a.m. on the east coast. welcome to "early start." i'm alina cho. >> i'm drew griffin. john and zoraida are off today. it's 5:00 a.m. in the east. a deadly winter storm system slamming the northeast after hammering the nation's heartland. look at this radar, system serious snowmaker. it's packing destructive winds, six states under winter storm warnings right now. pennsylvania, new york, massachusetts, new hampshire,
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vermont and maine. all could see a foot of snow or more. more than 200,000 customers spanning several states already without power. 1,700 plus flights canceled yesterday. imagine that. hundreds more already taken off the board this morning. there are six deaths being blamed on the weather since tuesday and the threat hasn't passed yesterday. bonnie schneider, meteorologist checking the system from the cnn center in atlanta. first, we go to ennis standing by in miserable, snowy new york. it's a pretty picture, ines. >> reporter: you can still see the snowfall here. and this area is expected to get anywhere from 9 to 13 inches here in syracuse and in some other areas of new york, up to 18 inches. and i'll tell you that the snowplows have been working 12-hour shifts throughout the day yesterday and evening.
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they were spreading salt before the storm in anticipation of the storm. this area is used to getting a lot of snowstorm. two years ago they got almost 180 inches of snowfall. and so this time they're saying, look, we're used to getting snow. the challenge is this amount of snow in such a short period of time, it's been almost two years since syracuse has seen one foot of snow all in one shot, drew. >> it is incredibly pretty pictures from my nice, warm studio, ines. we appreciate you getting up this morning and getting in it. the nba's indiana pacers were actually forced to postpone last night's home game against the chicago bulls. that's a real rarity. take a look at these pictures. getting around the country today and the rest of the week will be a challenge. let's get right to the cnn weather center in atlanta. meteorologist bonnie schneider tracking the system for us. bonnie, good morning. >> good morning. >> what's the latest?
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it's a huge mess out there. >> it is. it's hitting the northeast hard. you have that heavy rain across new york and long island, across the connecticut sound and really heavy downpours into boston and drive a little further north and it's all snow. that combined with strong wind is making for a very messy day today. so many people are out and about, trying to enjoy holiday time or maybe just heading back to work or to the stores to return gifts. but unfortunately we're seeing heavy downpours into bridgeport, connecticut and once you start heading to upstate new york, it's accumulation. we're talking about a foot or more for upstate new york, 3 to 6 for places like massachusetts, worcester and the berkshires. the pocono mountains will see about 6 inches of snow and into northwestern new jersey you're still looking at snow as well. this is a strong area of low
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pressure, it will work its way across the northeast. the cold air coming in behind it will help enhance the heaviest snow across the great lakes and extreme northern new england. we're also experiencing some bitterly cold temperatures right here in the south. this morning it's 35 in atlanta, 33 in birmingham. the cold air is here. for southerners this is a big deal. we're not used to this cold weather. back to you. >> none of us are. bonnie schneider, thanks so much. the storm has done considerable damage in the southern states. take a look at incredible video we have from a surveillance camera. this is from a walgreens in mobile, bomb bomb. this is from a walgreens in mobile, alabama. >> i've never been in a war zone but i'm sure it's what it looks like. there's a bunch of tin. i was just thankful i was alive. if it would have been 100 yards
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the other way it would have ripped through the middle of the store. >> pearl river county, mississippi, look at this, two dozen homes damaged, destroyed, more on the storms. we'll have that in the next half hour. for those of you getting back into your morning routines today, we are just five days away now from going over the fiscal cliff. happy new year. here's what you might have missed. president barack obama has left hawaii. he left last night, arriving in d.c. early this morning. the senate is also coming back from its christmas vacation to work on a deal today. sources tell us majority leader harry reid will be pushing a scaled back version of the fiscal cliff package that president obama laid out last week. it moved the tax hike needle to $400,000 per household. no word yet on when the house might come back with time ticking away. democrats are hoping that a scaled back plan could get through the house, senate and white house before that big ball drops on 2013. that would be sometime on december 30th or even on new
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years eve. we want to bring in jonathan allen. he's a senior national correspondent for politico. the top headline on politico is fiscal cliff deal increasingly unlikely. i think a lot of people are feeling that pessimism right now. what are you hearing? >> well, i think what you've got here, alena, is a nash equilibrium to borrow from economic theory and game theory. each of the players believe they are pursuing their optimal strategies given the strategies of the other players and there's no reason to change it. i think as observers of this, the american public, you can say there's a real reason to change it. in terms of the politicians, i think they're pursuing their best strategy right now and that leads us toward that cliff. unless something changes in the next couple of days, most folks now believe that any fix will happen after january 1st. >> the house gop leadership put out a statement yesterday. i want to read part of it for you. it says in part, the house has
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acted on two bills which collectively would avert the entire fiscal cliff if enacted. those bills await action by the senate. if the senate will not approve, and send them to the president to be signed into law in their current form, they must be amended and returned to the house. the senate first must act. now, the house leader john boehner says he will give house members 48 hours before he calls them back. that means the earliest they'll be back is on saturday. so are they just passing the buck to the senate? >> i think that's what's happening in both chambers right now. you saw a return statement from senate majority leader harry reid's spokesman yesterday talking about the incompetence of the house. these two sides are pointing fingers at each other. you have a situation now where these guys are completely confident or at least confident enough that their strategies are
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the right ones for them that they're not moving off the ball at all. and without any sort of movement, that's why you hear so much pessimism. >> i think part of it is they're afraid of spooking the markets, right? no gop senator wants to sign -- wants to vote for tax increases if the bill's not going to pass. that looks bad to their constituents. and as one democratic source told our dan that bash, this will be the last train we have and there is no sense in it leaving the station before we have assurance it will get through. procedurally, jonathan, is there still time? >> procedurally, there's still time. it certainly depends on how complicated the fix is. if it's something simple it can be drawn up in a few lines and perhaps there's time. if they end up trying to get complicated there may not be time. if there's somebody in the senate bent on stopping this from happening because the senate rules, you can see there being a problem in terms of getting it done before january 1st, it really all depends on
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the level of consensus. when there's consensus in congress, things move very fast. sometimes in the blink of an eye trillions of dollars can go out the door. at other times if people want to hold up the process, it can take several weeks to get done. >> one analyst talked about bungee jumping off the cliff. so an easier bill will come after january 1st that everyone will vote for. sounds like a likely scenario. we'll have to see if that happens. jonathan allen, senior washington correspondent for politico. thanks so much. >> take care. the health of former president george h.w. bush has taken a turn for the worst. he was moved into intensive care because ofs aelevated fever. the nation's 41st president is on a liquid diet. his condition listed as guarded. the 88-year-old coping with christmas in the hospital by -- well, he says he's determined in the to be grumpy about all of this. toyota has agreed to pay a $1.1 billion settlement.
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that would be to settle a class-action suit over sudden acceleration issues. under the agreement, toyota will install a break override system in affected cars. it will set up a fund of $250 million for former toyota owners who sold their cars from september of 2009 through all of 2010. that would go to compensate owners for their car's reduced value because of bad publicity. toyota's attorneys say a separate fund of $250 million will also be established to compensate current owners whose vehicles aren't eligible for that break override system. in this terrible weather, rescuers are racing to save that giant sick beached wheel off breezy point in queens. if that sounds familiar, it was one of the areas leveled by hurricane sandy. and a phi sparked by the storm, the 50-foot long whale is believed to be a female hump back. experts say the likelihood of it surviving isn't good. the whale appears to be very
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skinny and weak. lathis afternoon, the late daniel inouye's successor will be appointed. brian schatz will fill the seat. he's flying to d.c. with president obama. he was widely expecteded to appoint colleen hanabusa to take over. before his death, inouye appointed her to take over. there's a plan being considered in one state. plus, a day at the office with one of the richest men in the world. a look at what's on warren buffett's desk. that's just ahead. when you have diabetes...
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[ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. ...so as you can see, geico's customer satisfaction is at 97%. mmmm tasty. and cut! very good. people are always asking me how we make these geico adverts. so we're taking you behind the scenes. this coffee cup, for example, is computer animated. it's not real. geico's customer satisfaction is quite real though.
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this computer-animated coffee tastes dreadful. geico. 15 minutes could save you 15 % or more on car insurance. someone get me a latte will ya, please? 15 minutes after the hour. welcome back to "early start." it's not every day you get a tour of the office of one of the richest men on the planet and arguably the best investor of
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our time. well, warren buffett gave our poppy par low just that, showing her around his modest office in berkshire hathaway's omaha, nebraska headquarters. what she found and didn't, just may surprise you. >> i've been in this building 50 years. they moved me around a little bit. >> reporter: history on the walls legendary investor warren buffett's office. >> i formed my first partnership in may of 1956. this was a year-end balance sheet which i typed myself. there's probably typos in it. these are my partners i had at the time. this was my father in law, my roommate in college, his mother, that's my aunt alice, my sister doris and her husband truman. >> reporter: and you. >> that was the gang. if they kept the $10,000 investment and when i liquidated the partnership re-invested that in berkshire hathaway they would now have about 500 million.
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did i very well with small amounts of money back in 1964. when a panic happens with a really good company, i like to buy. >> reporter: buffett's m.o. for investing. this 1901 "new york times" article reminds him daily of an important lesson. >> we never go out on a limb. we always have lots of money. we never borrow a lot of money. first campaign i got active in is when i was 10 years old in 1940 and wilkie was running against roosevelt. my dad thought if roosevelt got elected there would never be another election. >> reporter: a vocal republican in his earlier years, buffett now leans left and is a big obama supporter. >> we were talking about the economy. >> reporter: what else. >> i brought along figures i thought would be of interest to him. this is the presidential medal of freedom. >> reporter: he's never had political ambitions like his father. >> that's my dad's campaign picture when he was 39 years old. this is my dad's desk. this sat on his desk when i was
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a kid, when i was 10 years old. i always admired it. >> reporter: this is my favorite thing in your office. i need one of those. the too hard box. >> the real problem is if they're in there and i don't realize it. >> reporter: then there are the fun things, like the model mars rover, given to him by students at cal tech. >> thattette bas getting a t-shirt. >> reporter: and the mock "sports illustrated" cover. >> if they ever bring me out it will be as water boy. >> reporter: no fancy flat screen tv, just an old tube. >> no computer. >> reporter: that means no e-mail, perhaps the secret to buffett's success. poppy harlow, cnn. 17 minutes after the hour. let's get you up to date with the morning's top stories. six states in the northeast under this winter storm warning. you can see why. heavy snow, damaging winds targeting folks from pennsylvania to maine. holiday travel a mess.
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1,700 flights canceled yesterday. more of the same expected today. nelson mandela is out of the hospital but he's going to keep getting medical treatment at home. south africa's former president has had a couple of health problems this month, including a lung infection and gal stone surgery. he's 94 years old. he hasn't at peared in public in more than two years. so many gifts have poured into newtown, connecticut, that officials are now asking people to stop sending them. at least for now. newtown has been swamped with things like toys, flowers and school supplies ever since the school shootings. community leaders say they're grateful for the support and they will talk about best ways to help the town very soon. just about 19 after the hour. we're going to give you early reads, the local news making national headlines. we begin with a story from arizona where in the wake of the newtown killings, the states attorney general is proposing a plan to arm one educator in each
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school. under that plan, each public school would designate a person, either a principal or teacher to keep the gun in a secured, locked location. it would be a voluntary program. the attorney general says state law would need to be amended before that plan could move forward. and happy new year chicago. beginning january 1st, chicago's parking meters will be the most expensive in north america. a 75 cents jump doesn't sound like a lot. listen to this. the price will then be $6.50 per hour downtown. that is more expensive than san francisco and even new york. and even leaps over vancouver for most expensive on the continent. for an expanded lookal all of our top stories head to cnn.com/earlystart. also search for us on twitter and facebook, search early start cnn. one of the largest settlements of its kind.
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coming up, toyota paying billions to customers past and present, impacted by those stuck accelerators. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today. i just finished a bowl of your new light chicken pot pie soup and it's so rich and creamy... is it really 100 calories? let me put you on webcan... ...lean roasted chicken... and a creamy broth mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price.
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and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at citi.com/pricerewind. but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition
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minding your business this morning at 23 past the hour. stock markets worldwide are in a holding pattern awaiting the results of fiscal cliff negotiations in washington. u.s. stock futures pretty flat this morning indicating that markets will open little change today. stocks could take a big hit next week if congress does not make a decision in time. that, of course, adding to concerns, treasury secretary geithner also warned congress in a letter yesterday that we will reach the nation's debt ceiling on monday. that's when the government reaches its legal borrowing limit. treasury can delay a debt crisis for a couple of weeks until february or march using emergency measures to keep the government operating until congress acts to fix this problem, too. big news from toyota. they are announcing a record
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$1.1 billion settlement over that unintended accelerator issue which they say does not exist. toyota has always said it's been floor malts, stuck gas pedals and operator error but they're going to settle these cases to put it behind them. the bulk of the money will go to its customers past and present. they will install brake override systems for all vehicles identified by toyota as having a problem with the floor mats getting stuck. toyota set aside $250 million to compensate owners who sold their cars while their sales were plummeting over the bad p.r. and a separate 250 million will be used to compensate owners who don't qualify for that brake override system. finally, all 16 million current toyota owners will be eligible for a warranty on certain parts related to sudden unintended acceleration. toyota, again, maintains it does
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not have a problem with unintended acceleration in its vehicles. they say those problems involve floor mats, gas pedals and drivers mistakenly hitting the gas instead of the brake. why did they settle? toyota's legal officer released a statement saying this, it was a difficult decision, especially since reliable scientific evidence and multiple independent evaluations have confirmed the safety of toyota's electronic throttle control systems, however, we concluded turning the page on this legacy legal issue through the positive steps we are taking is in the best interest of the company, our employees, our dealers and most of all, our customers. the fact is that court trials over these issues were beginning to creep up on toyota. a lot of lawyers were asking for a lot of documents and depositions. the settlement will keep a lot of the toyota records out of the public eye and also a settlement can get these lawyers oback and
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put the entire episode behind went. shares are up about a quarter percent this morning. we have more good news for the housing market. later this morning, we will get more fresh data on new home sales for nor. that's expected to also show some strength in that part of the housing market. good news if you don't own a home. >> that's right. of all the holiday etch changes going on the day after christmas, this one had the most firepower. more coming up. plus, the biggest celebrity scandal of 2012. lindsay lohan never disappoints. we'll tell you more about them, coming up. [ female announcer ] what if the next big thing, isn't a thing at all?
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hurry. bonus cash ends january 2nd.
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wow, look at that, winter storm warnings. a big swath of the northeast getting socked with high wind driven snow and soaking rain. >> five days from the fiscal cliff. there's serious doubt this morning that our leaders in washington can strike a deal in time. >> no easy job. the commander chief talks about the hardest part of being president. welcome back to "early start." i'm drew griffin. good to have you with us. >> glad you're with us. i'm alina cho. john and zoraida have the day off. it's 30 minutes paragraph the hour. whether you're driving or flying chances are your holiday travel plans are in turmoil today. the culprit, a devastating winter storm that's smothering the northeast. look at all of that white. more than 1,700 flights had to be canceled just yesterday. hundreds more are already off the boards this morning and that number will almost certainly climb. bet it will. storm has already battered the south and midwest. folks in six states from
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pennsylvania to maine could see up to 2 feet of snow today. meteorologist bonnie schneider is tracking the extreme weather from the cnn center in atlanta. first we go live to ines ferre in a snowy syracuse, new york. ines, good morning. >> >> reporter: good morning, alena. yes, it's still snowing here in syracuse. visibility, ice, are some of the concerns. you can see that plows have been coming in and out of these roads here in downtown syracuse, but you can still see that the snow is still accumulating. we saw the last plow just a few minutes ago here. and right here on the side, you see the accumulation. and this is snow from this snowfall which is expected to be 9 to 13 inches in this area. plus some snow from previous snowfalls in the last couple of days. they've gotten some 13 inches of snow here in syracuse. city officials say that syracuse is actually used to getting a lot of snow. of course a big challenge as this amount of snow in such a short period of time.
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now, one of the good things about the snow is that it's coming during a holiday week. that means that school's out, a lot of people are on vacation. that's just one less headache to deal with, alina. >> ines ferre in a still snowing syracuse, new york. ines, thank you. if you're traveling by air or car, be careful. conditions are so bad in parts of the midwest, the nba's indiana pacers were forced to postpone a home game last night against the chicago bulls. that hardly ever happens. meteorologist bonnie schneider tracking this storm. eventually this thing will push out into the ocean. the question is when. >> eventually. not even tomorrow. we'll still be talking about it then. it's such a wide area of impact, millions of americans affected by this storm even as early as we talked about it on christmas eve. we're looking at heavy snow in places like upstate new york. i want to show you video outside
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of buffalo in hamburg. the snowplows they're used to snow there, of course. look at this. it's tough to get traction when the snow comes in so fast on any roadways. so many people are out and about. the wind speeds are likely to pick up, especially along the coastal areas in boston. that's one of the reasons that we're looking at windy conditions, stretching as far to the south as the mountains of virginia and certainly up into new england. rain and wind combined will impact air travel today in new york city, all major airports, newark, new jersey, philadelphia certainly washington, boston you're looking at rain and very windy conditions, delays should be over an hour. these heavy thunderstorms are sweeping across warwick, rhode island up into boston and northern mass you're seeing heavy snow as well as sleet and freezing rain into kingston. we'll see up to a foot in northern new england and less as you head further south. this is a very intense storm and
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the wind will batter regions that were already battered by hurricane sandy not too long ago. this is not good news for coastal new england. >> what's behind it, is it going to be colder? >> yes, yes, much colder. the colder air is definitely in place. temperatures in the 30s in the south. that colder air is coming in for sure. >> thanks, bonnie. the winter storm targeting the northeast right now left behind a path of destruction in the south and midwest as well. tornadoes tore up parts of mississippi in pearl river county, an ef-3 force twister destroyed or damaged some two dozen homes. tornadoes also doing considerable damage to downtown mobile, alabama. an ef-2 twister, 5.7 miles long, 200 yards wide with peak winds reaching 135 miles per hour, simply no match for the local high school. >> it's a wonderful school. i just don't know what we're going to do with the kids when it's time to come back. this is a dangerous situation
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with all the roofs off and the windows blown out, this is just devastating. six deaths so far being blamed on the storm, including two small children, killed in a car accident in arkansas where some towns were hit by nearly a foot of snow. the headline today in washington, back to work. the president and senate returning from christmas break today with all americans hoping real work might get done on fixing the fiscal cliff before we all fall off. sources tell us senator harry reid is trying to cram through a scaled back version of the obama cliff plan from almost week. the house is still out. after the gop went into recess last week after the gop didn't have enough support to pass its own plan "b." congress has very little time, though, five days to be exact to come up with some kind of a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. it may already be too late with the way things work on capitol hill. let's bring in jonathan allen, the senior washington kpon for politico. jonathan, let's get to that.
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i think if everything lines up they could possibly get a deal signed from the fiscal cliff but when does that ever happen? >> yes, i think the problem, drew, there isn't that much time when congress has a consensus they can move quickly but there's no indication of that right now. all of the players seem locked into their strategies. for folks familiar with economic theory, this is a nash equilibrium. they believe given what the other folks are doing their pursuing their optimal path and that path seems to be leading us toward that fiscal cliff. i think most folks in washington expect that that will happen rather than some sort of fix here in the last couple days. >> so the senators and the congressmen from both parties have basically done the analysis and feel in their own hearts that they will not be too terribly harmed politically if we go over the cliff? is that basically the politics of what you're hearing here? >> i can't see directly into the hearts of any of these members of congress.
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>> if they have a heart, right? >> but i can gauge from what their public posturing is. we're not seeing any movement. we haven't seen any movement for many days now. the house republican leaders had a conference call with each other yesterday. afterward they got off and announced to everyone that they were in the exact same position they were before. they believe the senate must act, then the senate responded and said, look, we're in the exact same position, we believe the house ought to act on what we've done previously. the president is coming back from hawaii earlier than expected. that may be just to make sure he's not in hawaii when everyone goes off the cliff. >> and just real quickly, not to get too much into the weeds but this is pretty much in harry reid's court. he's got to come up with some kind of a deal that the president will be willing to sign and that the house will somehow pass before he brings it to the table, is that right? >> i think senator reed and the white house are in close
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consultation. he's been a tremendous ally of president obama's in the senate, for better or worse. each side has its own view of that. right now i think you're likely to see senator reed move a version of the bill that's acceptable to president obama or attempt to. it's not clear whether mitch mcconnell or other senators in the republican party will allow that to move forward. if something passes in the senate, i think it's likely that the house will follow suit. i think that takes the pressure off john boehner a little bit in terms of bringing something to the floor that his minions don't love. >> take care, drew. two firefighters shot and wounded on christmas eve are improving and starting physical therapy. joseph hoffstetter and the other
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firefighter were shot after being called to a fire. we are starting to hear the 911 calls. >> multiple firemen down. multiple firemen shot. i am shot. i think it was an assault rifle. >> volunteers from other areas have stepped in to help the webster fire department. >> we're all family, yep, brothers and sisters. it will be a long time before this department gets over this. i understand, if they need us to come back and help out we'll be here. >> police say william spengler set the fire to lure the firefighters into a trap. he eventually killed himself. his sister was also found dead. how does a small community deal with something like this? the webster, new york, fire marshall will join us in the next hour. we'll find out how the community
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is supporting the firefighters who was hurt and mourning the ones who died. >> the day after christmas returns looked different in los angeles. mayor moved l.a.'s annual gun buyback event from mother's day to yesterday. he did that because of the connecticut school shootings. people could exchange pistols, shotguns, rifles, for grocery store gift cards worth about $100. d.c. prosecutors won't say if they'll prosecute david gregory for showing a high capacity magazine on "meet the press." they're illegal in washington. even if they're not attached to a weapon. d.c. police says nbc actually asked if they could use the magazine on the show and their answer was no. coming up at 10:00 a.m. eastern time on "cnn newsroom," victor blackwell will talk with nra president david keen about gun rights in the wake of the
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newtown massacre. coming up, how facebook's privacy policy may have come back to haunt its founder, mark zuckerberg. plus the biggest celebrity scandals of 2012. omnipotent of opportunity. you know how to mix business... with business. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i could get used to this. [ male announcer ] yes, you could business pro. yes, you could. go national. go like a pro. yes, you could. why they have a raise your rate cd. tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years? no.
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welcome back to "early start." 45 minutes after the hour. for celebrities, 2012 was a scandalous year which included custody disputes, drunk driving, rehab, cheating and divorce. many of these scandals are featured in the 2012 "us weekly celebrity yearbook" issue. bradley jacobs is here to give ug the sco us the scoop on the biggest celebrity scandals of the year. let's start with demi moore. her husband, ashton kutcher recently filed for divorce even though they've been separated for some time. that surprised her? >> yes. it was a year since they split.
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you know, it's been a very rocky year for demi moore. she turned 50, sources say she's really unhappy about aging and you can see that ashton wasn't the only young guy in her life. she's chased after voito schnabel. most disturbingly -- here she is partying away with stacey keebler who is 33. >> wasn't she running around like a little cat. >> that was kim kardashian maybe. >> demi, she's become estranged from her three daughters, especially her middle daughter, scout. she really has a very tough relationship with those girls right now. she even sat apart from them at the oldest -- youngest one's graduation earlier this year. demi's having a very hard time. >> let's hope she gets it together in 2013. meanwhile, let's talk a little bit about what you're calling
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the twilight cheating scandal. >> it wasn't just me calling it but "us weekly" did call that story, the biggest story of the year. we ran photos in the magazine of kristen stewart kissing and making out with her snow white director rupert sanders. she's involved with rob pattinson, everyone knows. >> he moved out very quickly after that. >> yes, he moved out very quickly. >> they broke up. >> but then they had to promote the final twilight movie "breaking dawn part two" all over the world for a month. they did get back together, they were seen dancing, et cetera. now that the movie's come and gone, it's a little bit of a question mark about their relationship. are they really together, are they not? we're watching them carefully. >> lindsay lohan, everyone's favorite train wreck. >> that's exactly what i say. this year lindsay tried so hard to get a comeback. she got this role, "liz and dick." >> i watched it. >> i couldn't take my eyes off it. >> i thought it was great in a
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campy way. >> it was extremely campy. she just can't get out of her own way. she didn't understand the reviews were terrible on this movie. she didn't see it as campy and she's had a really rough time. she continues the downward spiral, even her co-stars, i edited a story about how her co-stars were making fun of her at the premiere. >> early on in her career she was seen as such a talent. >> it was so long ago now we can't even remember talented lindsay. she gets in trouble, she refuses to stay in or clean up her act. >> i feel like it was the year of mug shots of amanda bynes. >> yes, amanda bynes, she had a lot of run-ins with the law. two duis -- i'm sorry, two hit and runs, a dui. look at these. it's a litany of mug shots for this girl. >> that's unfortunate hair as well. >> amanda bynes, she quit the
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business, quit acting. >> quit the business? how old is she? >> she's 26. she has nothing to do. she wanders around a lot. we have firsthand reports at "us" in beauty stores, hair places at 2:30 in the morning. she locked herself a boutique's dressing room for two hours and told people, go away when they came knocking on the door. she did the same thing a month prior. >> it's that classic story of having too much success too early. >> she doesn't talk with her parents or old team. yet another meltdown. >> halle berry, olivier martinez and her ex, gabriel aubrey, big problems. >> this wasn't really a meltdown. this was a really ugly incident happening on one of the happiest days of the year, thanksgiving, a family holiday. the fight is, of course, over nahla, her 4-year-old daughter with her ex, gabriel. they've had a protracted custody battle.
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she wanted to get full custody and live in france. that was denied. there's a lot of friction there and it came to a head when gabriel came over on thanksgiving day and got into a fight with olivier martinez, her current fiance. >> it wasn't just a fight. it was a brawl. >> grown men fighting over halle berry and this -- >> there it is. >> there's gabriel aubrey. >> then we released that photo and i pulled it up on my blackberry, i audibly gasped. i couldn't believe it. >> that's a classic movie-making black eye. olivier martinez, he's small but packs a punch. he's a boxer. gabriel i don't think knew what he was getting into with this fight. things have calmed down with them. they haven't disclosed the new arrangement. things are quieter. halle's in paris right now for the holidays. >> with olivier? >> yes. >> never a dull moment in your world. >> 2013, we'll see what has. >> i'm sure there will be plenty more scandals.
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bradley jacobs, senior editor for "us weekly." we'll see what happens. drew? coming up, what the fbi was doing to keep tabs on the movement. . your doctor will say get smart about your weight. i tried weight loss plans... but their shakes aren't always made for people with diabetes. that's why there's glucerna hunger smart shakes. they have carb steady, with carbs that digest slowly to help minimize blood sugar spikes. and they have six grams of sugars. with fifteen grams of protein to help manage hunger... look who's getting smart about her weight. [ male announcer ] glucerna hunger smart. a smart way to help manage hunger and diabetes. gives you 1% cash back on all purchases, plus a 50% annual bonus. and everyone...but her likes 50% more cash. but i'm upping my game. do you want a candy cane? yes! do you want the puppy? yes! do you want a tricycle? yes! do you want 50 percent more cash? no! ♪ festive. [ male announcer ] the capital one
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every rose has its thorn, even for the president. he and mrs. obama sat down with barbara walters. here's what he described as the toughest part of his job on
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"nightline." >> the thorn is always knowing that as commander in chief i've put, you know, men and women of our armed services in harm's way, and some of them get killed and some of them get injured. and that always weighs on me. that is as raw and as fresh now as it was the first month i took office. >> this was billed as their first sitdown interview since winning re-election. it was taped days before the newtown massacre. newly real estate leased fbi documents showing the bureau considered the occupy wall street movement a potential threat and had counterterrorism agents across the country keeping watch. agents were in touch with police, businesses and universities nationwide even before demonstrators set up in
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new york's zucohti park last year. what a wounded firefighter said to a paramedic as this terror unfolded. and travelers stuck on a plane for five hours that never even left the gate. passengers fuming. why weren't they let off? why the pilot is now apologizing. and usain bolt made olympic history, remember? which sports moment defines 2012? that and more, coming up. but first, how mark zuckerberg himself may have gotten burned by facebook's privacy settings. we'll explain. time for citi pr. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok.
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welcome back. 58 minutes after the hour. drew griffin along with alina c cho, taking a look at top cnn trends on the web this morning. call him a bad quarterback but do not call him a bad teammate. tim tebow firing back after a report that said he asked out of some offensive plays sunday after he was snubbed for the jets starting quarterback job. espn said tebow was so upset with that perception that he quit on the team that had dampened his christmas. as for tebow, he's likely out of new york next year. this is a funny story. looks like someone might be confused by the privacy settings. mark zuckerberg's sister is upset after a private family photo she posted on facebook went public. she posted a photo of her family that included the facebook ceo mark zuckerberg. someone who wasn't supposed to see it saw it probably because she was friends with someone
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else who was tagged in it and it was retweeted. all this followed by an angry response from randy zuckerberg that included this line, it's not about privacy settings. it's about human decency. welcome to the club. "early start" continues right now. going nowhere fast. holiday travel on hold as a wet and nasty storm slams the northeast and strands thousands of airline passengers. trucks tossed like toys, a tornado's powerful fury captured on camera in alabama. and just five tense days until the fiscal cliff. president obama back to washington on the air force one where there's doubt that a deal can get done in time. good morning, everybody. >> so glad you're with us on a
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thursday. john and zoraida have the day off. up first, a powerful winter storm is hammering the northeast right now and snarling holiday travel plans for millions of families. look at the live radar and all of that white there. this system is expected to dump up to two feet of snow on central maine and is packing destructive winds. six states are facing storm warnings, pennsylvania, new york, massachusetts, new hampshire, vermont and maine all could see at least a foot of snow or more. more than 200,000 customers spanning several states are already without power. more than 1700 flights cancelled yesterday. hundreds more already taken off the board this morning. six deaths are already blamed on the weather since tuesday, and the threat certainly has not passed yet. meteorologist bonnie sh --
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schneider is tracking the storm but we first go to inez. has it stopped snowing? >> reporter: no, we're seeing lighter snow but it's still falling steadily and governor cuomo has asked people to avoid non-essential travel. here's why, poor visibility and the possibility of ice on the roads. you can see the roads here in downtown syracuse. we've seen plows coming in and out of these roads but the snow is still accumulating. what you're seeing on the sides of the road too is accumulation from this snowstorm, which is expected to dump 9 to 13 inches and also some previous snowstorms. they have had 13 inches in the last four days. syracuse officials say this area is used to getting snow. of course a big challenge is so much snow in such a short period of time. it's been almost two years since syracuse has seen a foot of snow all in one shot. >> inez, thank you. a potent winter storm really
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socked the midwest. travel conditions were so treacherous the pacers had to postpone a game against the bulls. getting around the country today and the rest of the week will be a challenge of the meteorologist bonnie schneider tracking the system. what is the latest, especially for me, bonnie, in new york where it's been raining, sleeting and miserable. >> rain and sleet and wind. it's going to be one of those days the rain is blowing sideways on the streets of manhattan. north of new york we're looking at heavy snow across the upstate area, certainly across vermont, new hampshire and maine. this snow will accumulate quite a bit. remember, this storm is pulling down colder air in behind it as it wraps in from the west so temperatures dropping down below freezing in scranton, so that colder air is working its way to the east. all of this rain and wind and snow will impact your air travel. we are anticipating lengthy
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delays today in the northeast and the mid-atlantic and even chicago, salt lake city and seattle also facing delays. so many millions of people traveling this weekend. right now some of the hardest hit areas are rhode island, connecticut, long island and certainly into new york city where we're seeing heavy downpours. notice the rain coming in right at jfk and la guardia. once you drive up towards kingston, new york, it's more of a wintry mix. heavy snow accumulating across new england. this is good news for those enjoying a ski holiday but for the rest of us traveling it's going to cause a lot of slowdowns so give yourself extra time. >> bonnie, try sleeping. it was a howling wind last night. it was so loud. it really kept people up. all right, bonnie schneider, thank you so much. several states in the south are picking up the pieces after getting torn up by tornados. this incredible video comes from
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surveillance cameras at a walgreens in mobile, alabama. cars just tossed around in the parking lot by a tornado. winds well over 100 miles per hour clearing store shelves faster than any after christmas sale could. >> i've never been in a war zone but i'm sure it's what it looks like. there's a punch of tin. all of the stuff lifted all these buildings over here. i was just thankful i was alive. if it had been 100 yards the other way, it would have ripped through the middle of the store. >> it also tore up parts of pearl river, mississippi. two dozen homes or damaged or destroyed and at least 25 people were hurt. for those of you getting back into your routines this morning, we are five days away from going over that fiscal cliff. happy new year, everybody. here's what you might have missed. president barack obama has left hawaii, he left early. the senate is also coming back from its christmas vacation to work on a deal today. sources tell us majority leader harry reid will be pushing a
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scaled-back version of the fiscal cliff package that president obama laid out last week. that moved the tax hike needle to $400,000. no word on when the house might come back with time ticking away. democrats are hoping the scaled-back plan could get through the house, senate and white house before january 1st. sometime on december 30th, maybe even new year's eve is when they're probably going to get that deal done but let's go to jonathan allen, a senior washington correspondent for politico. the top headline on politico this morning, fiscal cliff deal increasingly unlikely. jonathan, really? >> i think there's a lot of pessimism here in washington. you've got, as you pointed out, five days left. i think the real indicator here is that none of these parties are moving off their position. the senate democrats, the house republicans, the white house. there hasn't been any reason for folks to look at what's going on and say, oh, i see where a deal could be coming together.
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so what you've got is what's described in economic game theory is where everyone has decided on their strategy, looked at the strategies of the oar players and figuring that their optable strategy is to go over the cliff and pick up the pieces later. >> and basically fight for which party is going to get the most blame in the meantime, right? >> that's right. this is a finger-pointing exercise. everyone is sort of putting together their best case for why the other guy is at fault. you know, the possible exception here, drew, is if the senate can pass something, a scaled-back version of the obama plan, perhaps if the senate passes something, i think that will remove some of the pressure for house speaker john boehner. i think that will put more pressure on his troops. it's possible that something like that could get through the house, but i wouldn't bank on it, bet on it or gamble on it on the stock market. >> something very interesting happened yesterday, tim geithner sent a note to harry reid saying basically, hey, we're out of
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money on january 31st. that has to do with the debt limit and raising the debt limit. do you think at all that kind of financial pressure is going to play into this? >> it's interesting, if we go over the f 'tis cal cliiscal cl should buy some room. the fiscal cliff is a cut in taxes and a cut in spending which should relieve some of the spending toward the debt limit. it is a factor in terms of long range planning for the united states government. but actually going over the cliff might buy some more time. so i think what secretary geithner was doing was sort of issuing a warning saying we should take care of this now. whatever the plan is in the last five days or even if it's right after the new year should probably take into account the fact we're going to need more room under that debt ceiling at some point. >> jonathan allen, we'll rely on you throughout this crisis to see what's going on. thanks for joining us this
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morning. >> take care, drew. he was hoping he'd be home by christmas but former president george h.w. bush is still in intensive care at a houston hospital. he's got an elevated fever. the nation's 41st president is on a liquid diet. he's listed as guarded. he's the 88-year-old bush coping with christmas in the hospital? well, his spokesman quotes him as saying i'm determined not to be grumpy with all of this. >> at least he has a good attitude about it. meanwhile, when a local newspaper pushes a map -- first we'll tell you about a whale because rescuers are racing to save a giant and clearly sick beached whale off breezy point in queens, new york. if that place sounds familiar, it was one of the areas just leveled by hurricane sandy and a fire sparked by the storm. the 50-foot-long whale is believed to be a female humpback whale and experts say the likelihood of it surviving is not just good because the whale appears to be very skinny and weak. >> poor thing. when a local newspaper
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published a map with the names and addresses of legally registered gun owners, a blogger struck back in a big way and that blogger will join us live coming up. plus, you will hear an airline pilot caught on tape just ripping into his bosses as he apologizes to passengers. hearing this, it is amazing, and you'll hear it next. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor. now why make a flavored heartburn pill? because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants. so grab yourself some new prilosec otc wildberry. [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.
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outrage growing this morning over a newspaper's decision to publish a map pin pointing the address of people with legal gun permits. it was published by the journal news which is based in white plains, new york. it shows homes where public records indicate someone living there holds a gun permit of the part of an article called "the gun owner next door." they say they got the information from public records. it has readers online furious, including one blogger who decided to strike back and posted the home address of most of the leadership and staff of the "journal news." that blogger is christopher mountain and his blog can be found at christopherfountain.wordpress. com. i got that blog right.
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>> yes, christopher fountain.com. >> so why did you do this? why did you basically try to turn the tables and show where these people lived. >> well, i just thought they were being hypocrites. they were taking perfectly -- in the aftermath of newtown, it was obviously one tragedy, but somehow they were conflating legal gun owners with some craze editorment edit ed tormented devil up in newtown. i'm a licensed permit carrier in connecticut and there were some connecticut residents who were picked up by that. i was not. >> and the kplication by the newspaper, although we should point out nobody on that newspaper is coming on our air like you are, the implication seems to be that there's something wrong, there's something bad, there's something dangerous here. >> exactly. they defended their publishing it under the grounds that
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parents of small children would have the right to know whether there were guns in a house the children were playing at. the statistics are that a child is something like 540 times more likely to drown in a swimming pool than to die accidentally by a gun. so my thought was go on the property records were and show where swimming pools were. the fact that they didn't tie it back to newtown. >> let me read what the paper's publisher printed. janet hassen is not coming on our air. >> i have her address, if you like. >> i'm sure you do. one of our roles is to report publicly available information on timely issues, even when unpopular. we knew publication of the database would be controversial, but we felt sharing information about gun permits in our area was important in the aftermath of the newtown shootings. you obviously disagree. >> well, she could have just published the number of gun permits, which is actually quite small if she wanted to show an issue that there are 2,000
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legally registered guns in her county, fine. but the fact that they put the addresses -- i've received e-mails from abused women who were under protective order in hiding and they're terribly afraid now their names and addresses are all over the internet and accessible through that map. >> let me ask you if you've gotten any nasty e-mails after you posted where the publisher lives, where these reporters live? >> i would say 95% are positive. probably because of the nature of the readers of my blog and where it's being cited. but, yeah, i have received some nasty -- but i've received that in my life before. >> you obviously wanted to make a statement. you printed -- you posted a lot of people that had nothing to do with the gun story. >> absolutely. and in fact originally i just posted the publisher, the editor and the reporter's names and addresses. other readers started digging
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around and supplied them. as they came in, i published those too. they used a blender bust to publish every licensed permit holding, whether it's abused wives in hiding, i've received a call from a new york city detective who had been receiving death threats after that map was published. so i thought i saw nothing wrong with using the readers' research and posted it all. >> thanks for joining us. a bold move. >> okay, thank you. >> we'll read your blog from now on, see what else you're going to have posted. >> lots of interesting stuff. thank you. >> take care. >> thanks, drew. it's 17 minutes after the hour. let's get you up to date with the top stories. six northeast states, pennsylvania, new york, massachusetts, new hampshire, vermont and maine all under a winter storm warning this morning. some places are facing up to two feet of snow. holiday travel, of course, already snarled. more than 1700 flights canceled yesterday and more of the same
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expected today. this afternoon daniel inouye's successor will be sworn in. lieutenant governor brian schatz was tapped to fill the seat. he's flying to d.c. with president obama. abercrombie was widely expected to appoint a congresswoman to take over. before he died, inouye named her as his preferred successor. nelson mandela is out of the hospital but he's going to keep getting medical treatment at his home. south africa's former president has had a couple of health problems this month. he had a lung infection and gallstone surgery. he's 94 years old, hasn't appeared in public in more than two years. heavy delays have tempers flaring and eyes rolling at airports all over the country. in dallas, cnn affiliate wfaa reports that one american airlines flight sat at the gate for nearly five hours. that's without leaving the gate. one passenger said the airline told them they could get off,
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but also warned them that they could be leaving at any minute. and now listen to the pilot's apology to his passengers. >> it is beyond reproach. i have no words to tell you how sorry i am for all of this. decisions are being made way above our heads by people that obviously in my humble opinion don't have a clue what they're doing. >> certainly not something you hear every day. meanwhile airline americans offering this up statement. quote, our hindered ability to deice and approach aircraft with ground equipment, jetways and ramp stairs created serious delays, for aircraft inbound and outbound. operating safely was our focus. safety should be the focus, but nonetheless, i have to tell you being a passenger on that flight for five hours, at least you get that. well, it's one of the largest settlements of its kind.
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coming up, toyota paying billions to customers impacted by those stuck accelerators. i found a powerful new way to cut out arthritis pain.
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welcome back to "early start." it's 23 minutes after the hour. minding your business this morning, stock markets worldwide are in a holding pattern waiting the results of those fiscal cliff talks in washington. stocks could take a big hit next week if congress does not make a decision in time. adding to concerns treasury secretary timothy geithner warning congress yesterday we will reach the nation's debt ceiling on monday. that's when the government reaches its legal borrowing limit. treasury can keep the government operating a couple of weeks
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using emergency measures but congress needs to act on this too to avoid a full-blown debt crisis. toyota is announcing a record $1.1 billion settlement over the unintended accelerator issue. it will go directly to its customers past and present. toyota will install brake override systems for vehicles identified by toyota as having problems with floor mats getting stuck. toyota also setting aside $250 million to compensate owners who sold their cars while values were plummeting. a separate $250 million will be used to compensate owners who don't qualify for the brake override system and finally all 16 million current toyota owners will be eligible for a warranty of certain parts related to sudden unintended acceleration. toyota maintains it doesn't have a sudden unintended acceleration problem in its vehicles. it says those problems involve floor mats getting stuck, gas pedals getting stuck and drivers
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hitting the gas instead of the brake by mistake. so why are they settling? here's what toyota's u.s. legal officer said in a statement. it was a difficult decision, especially since reliable scientific evidence and multiple independent evaluations confirmed the safety of toyota's electronic control systems. however, detroit toyota conclud turning the page on this legacy legal issue through the positive steps we are taking is in the best interests of the company, our employees, our dealers and most of all our customers. a little behind the scenes here, the trials were beginning to creep up and lawyers were asking for a lot of documents and depositions. the settlement can keep a lot of those records out of the public eye. also a settlement gets the lawyers off the company's back and perhaps puts this entire episode behind toyota. shares in the company up about a quarter of a percent ahead of the opening bell. chip maker marvel technology group has been ordered to pay
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$1.17 billion in damages to carnegie mellon university for patent infringement. shares fell more than 10% on the news yesterday. this is one of the largest patent suits in history, and tops the samsung/apple settlement last summer. a jury found marvel infringed on the patent related to disk drive circuits and it sold billions of chips incorporating the university's technology without a license. more good news for the housing market. home prices posted their biggest annual jump in two years in october. home prices trending higher and have been for the past five months. later this morning we'll get fresh data on new home sales for november, expected to show some strength in that part of the housing market. well, of all the holiday exchanges going on the day after christmas, this one had the most fire power. more coming up. t a thing at all? it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything.
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♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here. make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today.
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winter storm warnings, a big swath of the northeast getting socked with wind-driven snow and soaking rain. dramatic new recordings from the scene where a gunman torched his house just to lure firefighters into a deadly trap. we're talking to that fire marshal in that town live. and panic at the mall. just have a look at this. shoppers running away as a big brawl breaks out. can't wait to hear more about that, right? welcome back to "early start." it's 30 minutes after the hour on a thursday morning. so glad you're with us. >> john and zoraida are off. it's 29 minutes off the hour. a dangerous winter storm pummelling the northeast and nor touring holiday travelers. just take a look at that live radar. that's the culprit, covering just about all of new england. six states right now under winter storm warnings, pennsylvania, new york, massachusetts, new hampshire, vermont and maine. central maine could see up to
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two feet of snow today. everyone else is facing a foot or more. and heavy winds could do a lot of damage. 1700 flights had to be cancelled yesterday, hundreds more already off the boards this morning. the number most certainly will rise. meteorologist bonnie schneider tracking the extreme weather from the cnn center in atlanta but first let's go live to inez in snowy syracuse, new york, with a frosted cnn hat to top it all off. inez. >> reporter: drew, good morning. yeah, it's still snowing steadily here and governor cuomo has asked people to avoid non-essential travel. here's why, poor visibility and the possibility of ice. i want to show you the conditions on some of the roads here in downtown syracuse. plows have been coming by here throughout the whole morning. we saw one just a few minutes ago but the snow is still accumulating. what you see here on the side is actually snow from this snowfall, which is expected to leave about a foot of snow when
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all is said and done and also some other snowstorms in the past couple of days, some 13 inches that has accumulated from other snowstorms. now officials here say that syracuse is used to getting snow. one official saying to us that syracuse is a resilient place. but of course the challenge is when the snow comes in such a short amount of time. it's been almost two years since syracuse has seen a foot of snow all in one shot. >> it looks like people are staying off the streets. i don't see a lot of car traffic at least. >> reporter: there is not a lot of car traffic and also school is out this week and a lot of people are on vacation. >> thanks for braving the elements all morning long out there. two important tips if you're planning to travel today. be careful and be informed. that's right. conditions so bad in parts of the midwest the nba's indiana pacers actually had to postpone last night's home game against the chicago bulls and that hardly ever happens, if you know anything about sports. getting around the country today
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and the rest of the week could be a challenge, a big one, so we want to get straight to the cnn weather center with bonnie schneider tracking the storm. bonnie, last night in new york city it was the howling wind that kept a lot of people up in addition to the snow and the rain. what's it like out there this morning? >> we're still going to look at the wind. if you're in a high-rise building, the winds are stronger the higher you go up so if you are really up high i'm sureyou heard the winds blowing. speaking of wind, we also have wind-driven snow and there was a huge problem where the blizzard was blowing across the midwest. almost two feet in illinois. take us back to new york and you'll see we had 12 inches of snow in swain, new york. we also have new pictures out of hamburg, new york, near buffalo where the snow plows are always out and about. but even the suvs are having trouble with traction on these snow-covered roads. looking at radar, the snow is moving away from buffalo and is pulling to the east so it's hitting areas hard across areas to buffalo, further to the north
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towards syracuse and you see temperatures getting much colder. so 39 degrees in new york city. those numbers will go down as the colder air comes in. look at the airport delays, a big travel week. we're expecting them across major metropolitan areas in the east and in the west. heavy rain through connecticut into boston providence right now. new york city, you're getting a break but there's a batch of rain headed your way and it will be wind-swept rain so the rain will be blowing sideways today. good day to hold on to your umbrella or stay inside if you can. >> a lot of people trying to get home or get back from vacation, doing all that traveling today, so hopefully they'll be keeping it here on cnn. >> i want you both to check this out. the winter storm slamming the northeast caused a lot of sdruk destruction in the south and midwest. this is pearl river county, mississippi. an ef-3 twister destroyed or damaged two dozen homes. it also flattened parts of mobile, alabama. an ef-2 twister, 5.7 miles long
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and 200 yards wide with peak winds reaching 135 miles an hour. there's the local high school that really got trashed. >> it's a wonderful school. i just don't know what we're going to do with the kids when it's time to come back. this is a dangerous situation with all the roofs off and the windows blown out. this is just devastating. >> across the country, six deaths so far being blamed on this storm, including two small children killed in a car accident in arkansas, where some towns were hit by nearly a foot of snow. this morning we're hearing new recordings from the scene of a fire set as a trap by a gunman who ambushed firefighters as they responded to the scene. it happened on christmas evening morning in webster, a town in upstate new york. 62-year-old william spenglor started a massive fire, lured firefighters there and shot and killed two of them, injuring two
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others. the awful spine playing out on the scanner. >> multiple firemen down, multiple firemen shot. i am shot. i think it was an assault rifle. we have multiple firemen down. a working fire. >> a new statement from the two injured firefighters who are still recovering in the hospital thanking the nation for its support. they say we are humbled and a bit overwhelmed by the outpouring of well wishes for us and our families. like so many others, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of michael chiapperini and tomas and with those who lost their homes. investigators try to figure out how and why this happened. robert is the fire marshall of webster, new york. thank you so much for being here with us at such a difficult time. i know you were at a candlelight vigil last night for all of the four firefighters.
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tell me what that was like. >> good morning. it was, you know, a very quiet, somber event. we met at the four corners in the village of webster, which is within the town. i had a priest available, said a couple of prayers, spoke a little bit about the two firefighters that have died and just gave us a chance to get together as a community. >> and let's talk a little bit more about that. michael, you just saw him there, and the other victim, 19-year-old tomasz, just 19 years old. i know you were friends with michael. really a hero firefighter. really just beloved in that area. tell me what he was like and how his family is holding up. >> chip, we call him chip, chip was a great guy. we've been firefighters together for over 20 years, although in separate fire departments, but
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we're co-workers at the town of webster, as chip was a lieutenant currently down in the police department, which is in the same building that my office is located in. >> and i understand -- this just awful. i understand that his son, nick, was actually in the 911 dispatch center, heard all of those awful, just terrible calls coming in. have you had an opportunity to speak to him at all? >> i have. i spoke -- nick works as a dispatcher for a commercial ambulance company, and he was working nights that night. he heard the dispatch and the ca call. i spoke to him that christmas eve afternoon. i spoke to him in the afternoon. he insisted on riding in the fire truck to escort his father's body to the medical examiner's office. he was doing as well as he could. >> meanwhile the other victim in
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this, tomatomasz, just 19 years, hometown kid. i know you graduated from the same high school. have you had an opportunity to speak to his family, his parents, and if so, what have they told you? >> no, i haven't spoke to his parents. i know that he was a relatively new firefighter and came through the same recruit class that mike's son, nick, came through. >> i understand they were very, very close friends, right? >> very, very close friends. it's very difficult for everybody and for our community. >> i think a lot of people were shocked, i know i was when i first heard about this on christmas eve morning. i just couldn't believe my ears when i had heard that these firefighters were shot. i thought as tragic as it would have been, i thought that they had perished in the fire while fighting the fire, which typically is what happened. but as you know, we're hearing new details. i want to read a part of a note that the shooter left saying in part i still have to get ready to see how much of the
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neighborhood i can burn down and do what i like doing best, killing people. this from the gunman, william spengler. when you saw that, what went through your mind? had you ever heard about anything like this happening? >> no. i really can't say exactly -- put into words what i'm feeling. i mean we've trained to go to fires. we go to fires and know that there's that possibility that you may become injured or whatnot, but nobody -- we've trained -- after 9/11 we trained to, you know, be alert for secondary devices that were aimed at the first responders. but never -- never would anybody have thought that somebody would have been waiting for the firemen as they came around the corner, barely even out of the rig yet. the rig continued moving and crashed into an embankment in front of the scene.
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it's just something that's been very difficult to come to terms with, both personally and for the rest of us. >> i've seen a lot of tears from a lot of grown men in that area and understandably so. i wish you the best as your town recovers. you're the fire marshal in webster, new york. thank you for joining us this morning. >> you're welcome, thank you. well, following shootings like that and the tragedy in newtown, connecticut, los angeles decided to do a little something proactively about it. they decided to move up the date of their annual gun buyback event and a lot of people did just that. they came out to turn in their guns for grocery cards of the you get $200 worth. the mayor moved that event from mother's day to yesterday specifically because of the connecticut school shooting. city officials say this year's haul was bigger than last but we don't have the exact numbers. d.c. prosecutors won't say whether they'll charge david gregory for showing a
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high-capacity magazine on "meet the press." he used it as a prop but those things are illegal in washington, even if they're not attached to a weapon. d.c. police say nbc asked if they could use the magazine on the show and the answer was no. coming up at 10:00 a.m. eastern on cnn newsroom, carol costello will talk with the nra president about gun rights in the wake of the newtown massacre. sheer panic at a sacramento mall. just look at this. can you imagine that? police say a 20-person brawl broke out in the food court. during the fight there were reports of loud pops that sounded like gunfire. given what's been going on lately, you can imagine the terror there. the mall security director actually says there was no gunfire, no guns were recovered. three teens were arrested, the stores went into lockdown just in case. the mall reopened about an hour
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later, still trying to figure out the source of those popping sounds, but we'll keep you posted. but just look at that video, incredible. coming up, new revelations about occupy wall street and what the fbi was doing to keep tabs on the movement. plus, swamped in the street. how this bus ended up stuck in just a matter of seconds. we'll explain.
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ali velshi in for soledad this morning -- >> talking about his post-christmas workout routine. >> coming up on "starting point" this morning, with an 11th hour deal to prevent the u.s. going off the fiscal cliff, is that actually going to happen? we have both sides of the aisle and both sides of congress with us. republican representative steve la tourette and democratic senator richard blumenthal. "sex and the city" d.c. style. we'll talk to the authors of the juicy new novel dishing about life working for a demanding senator on capitol hill and he's a mean one. the grinch from the musical joins us live and it turns out he may not be that mean after
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all. that and much more in 14 minutes or so. the grinch is going to be here. >> in costume, i hope. >> of course. it's going to be the real grinch. it's not an actor, it's the grinch for those kids watching this morning. >> of course it is. thank you, ali. >> good to see you both. >> we'll be watching. 47 minutes after the hour. let's get you up to state with the top stories. six states from pennsylvania to maine facing a winter storm, a big one. 12 to 24 inches of snow could fall in parts of new england. holiday travel just a nightmare on the roads and in the air. more than 1700 flights cancelled just yesterday and much more of the same expected today. people in oceanside, california, waking up to this. a water main breaking creating a giant sinkhole. it swallowed a bus, left 400 customers without water. witnesses say the bus creeped down the flooded street and then just nosedived into the hole. the driver escaped through the window. he was the only person on board. former president george h.w.
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bush still in intensive care in a houston hospital this morning. he was transferred there on sunday because of an elevated fever. the nation's 41st president is on a liquid diet right now. his condition is listed as guarded. ♪ >> remember occupy wall street? well, newly released documents show the fbi viewed the movement as a potential threat, even had counterterrorism agents from alaska to florida keeping watch. agents were in touch with police businesses and universities nationwide, even before demonstrators set up in new york's szuciatti park last year coming up, the top sports stories of 2012. linsanity is on the list for sure. be ready. for the days when you get a sudden call from the school, be ready.
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for the times you need to double-check the temperature on the thermometer, be ready. when you have children's motrin on hand, you're ready. for high fever, nothing works faster or lasts longer than children's motrin. be ready with children's motrin.
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new york city today, rainy, windy, crazy. 36 degrees right now. later it's going to warm up to a high of 46. what does that do for you? >> not a whole lot. >> 2012 was an exciting year for sports fans all over the world. usain bolt made olympic history
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in london, johnny manziel was the youngest player ever to win the heisman and lebron james got a championship ring. "sports illustrated" has ranked the best moments of the year and maggie is here to countdown the top five moments from the year. we were just talking about this. you do a vote and start out with 112 great moments and whittle it down. >> 112 greatest moments of 2012 and everyone in the office gets to put their input, no matter what sport you cover, all the editors, all the writers and the senior higher-ups decide what's going to be the top five moments of the year. >> so let's do the countdown. number five is johnny football, huh? >> yeah, johnny football, johnny manziel. we've never had a freshman win the heisman before. his story is so unique because he goes from obscurity relatively as the quarterback of texas a&m and after beating number one ranked alabama in tuscaloosa, which is incredibly hard to do, we start looking at all the records that he starts to break.
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s.e.c. records. he's the only freshman to ever throw for 3,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 yards. i mean tim tebow, cam newton couldn't even do that. so johnny manziel kind of comes out of nowhere and wins the heisman. >> it will be interesting to follow him now. see how long is he going to stay in college and how long is he going to handle the pressure, right? number four, a guy that's in the news a lot, knows how to handle pressure, usain bolt. >> can you imagine being called the fastest man on the planet? how cool is that? he's the only person to ever attain really the double-double, which is winning its 100 meters and the 200 meters in the olympics in back-to-back olympic games. he actually got a triple-double. we don't really talk about the fact that he's a two-time gold medalist in the 4 x 200 relay as well. we saw the michael phelps cover which was one of the great moments for the americans in the olympics but usain bolt has captured the imagination of the world. >> lebron james finally did it. >> he finally did it.
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you think back to the decision in summer of 2010. he goes on national television and tells everyone he's leaving cleveland for south beach. then he gets to miami and starts promising not four, not five, not six, not seven rings and the expectations grew infinitely and finally lebron james in his second year with the miami heat gets his ring. the moment that stands out for me is him on the podium hugging the trophy and the mvp and he goes it's about damn time. >> everybody felt it wasn't that big of a deal, it's just finally you did it. >> not only did he win back the public's favor, went from a villain back to a hero, he also won a second gold medal. >> linsanity swept through this city like crazier. >> can you imagine a crazier two weeks of jeremy lin? it ended up being two months from start to finish. but you're the end of the bench literally, the last resort for a team that's struggling with injury.
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you go from playing on average about six minutes a game to starting. and then the peak, 38 points against the lakers and so many people were so inspired by jeremy lin, the first taiwanese american to make it to the pros. his story coming from harvard, sleeping on his brother's couch, went from an unknown to the world's biggest superstar. >> what happened to him? where is he now? >> he's in houston. he signed a three-year, $25 million deal that the knicks did not want to match. so far against the knicks he's 2-0. >> okay, very good. number one. >> yeah, number one. the buildup to this. let me give a little back story. the replacement referees had been getting so maligned throughout the preseason and beginning of the season and everyone was just waiting for that one moment that would really get the referees and the league back to the table and get the negotiations going. monday night football, packers/seahawks. russell wilson throws the hail mary to the end zone. it's now called the fail mary
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but you see the rest. one calls a touchdown, the other calls a touchback. it goes into the call heard round the world and two days later the referees and the league got it settled. >> maggie, great. thanks for coming in. great moments. >> all right, thank you, drew. today's best advice from a scientist turned tv star. that's coming up. and coming up on "starting point" the story behind this incredible video. a tornado tossing cars and trucks around like toys in a parking lot. and it tastes good? sure does! wow. it's the honey, it makes it taste so... well, would you look at the time... what's the rush? be happy. be healthy.
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what's the rush? meet the 5-passenger ford c-max hybrid. when you're carrying a lot of weight, c-max has a nice little trait, you see, c-max helps you load your freight, with its foot-activated lift gate. but that's not all you'll see, cause c-max also beats prius v, with better mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid.
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with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. we wrap it up, as always, with the best advice. >> that's right. today we hear from travis taylor, one of the stars of the cable tv's "rocket city rednecks." >> my two favorite pieces of advice. one, was my grand mother always told me don't poke that or put your finger in it. and the other is i heard from yoda, there is no try, there's only do or do not, and i firmly believe that. >> that's "early start." >> that's some accent. we'll be back again tomorrow morning early at 5:00 a.m. eastern time. "starting poin

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Early Start
CNN December 27, 2012 2:00am-4:00am PST

News/Business. John Berman, Zoraida Sambolin. The latest breaking news and trending stories. New.

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